I wondered around my son’s neighborhood for an hour this evening. It was the time of day that photographers like to call the “magic hour” because of the rich light and long shadows that make taking pictures oh so easy to do.
The houses on these streets are packed tightly together. Some of the yards are impeccably groomed, others haven’t seen a weed pulled in decades. Almost all the houses have porches, many of them with people on them, enticed out by the perfect spring weather in our nation’s capital. I counted six houses with porch swings. This was my favorite:
I grew up in a house with a huge porch and a porch swing. The porch steps were wide and welcoming and when I was a young girl my friends and I would create entire Barbie neighborhoods on those steps and across the width of the porch. When we grew too old for dolls we played countless games of Monopoly out there. I remember sitting on the swing when company was expected, counting cars as they drove down the street, trying to guess how many cars would pass before our visitors arrived. I spent many an hour on that swing with book in hand, gently swaying, often dozing, as the movement and gentle breezes lulled me to sleep. As a teenager my friends and I would gather on the porch when the night was young, knowing that teenage boys would often drive down the street looking for us. One of the last pictures taken of me as a Crosby was on that front porch, dressed in white, with the swing in the background.
I did a lot of dreaming on that porch.
No house that I’ve lived in since has had a porch that came even close to the one on Clifford Road.
My “someday house” will have that porch and that porch will have a porch swing. Of that I’m sure.
Mom kept gardenias blooming in pots on the porch. I might also have a few of those.